T Nation

Soccer, What's the Point?

I was so bored at work tonight I tried watching a soccer game. Once again, I give up. Yes, I am an American, and yes, maybe I’m prejudiced because we have so many awesome sports to choose from. But I’ve tried watching many a world cup, and aside from one famous head butt, I’ve been bored out of my skull every single time.

Here are three reasons why soccer sucks balls, and American Football rocks:

1- In American Football, you know exactly when something is going to happen. The game has 60 minutes of playing time, and a play happens every 40 seconds. Either the offense will gain yardage, or the defense will come up with a big stop, but big men are going to hit each other, and shit is going to be decided.

Soccer is 90 minutes long, but nothing ever happens. The ball meanders up the field, then back, someone takes a half-assed shot at the goal that misses by a mile. The whole time everyone is going out of their way to avoid contact with another player, lest they get a card.

You can also go take a piss when you’re watching American Football, because they take time outs for pissing, beer runs, whatever. They look out for the needs of Joe-Six pack. You go take a piss in Soccer and you come back you to find out you missed the only score in the whole fucking game.

2- Progress is measured in American Football. Each team runs for so many yards, passes for so many yards, the defense got so many sacks, interceptions, fumbles. You can come into the second half of an American Football game and see the stats and know exactly what each team has done, and why they are winning or losing.

In Soccer there is no progress to measure. It’s 80 minutes into this long, pointless contest and nobody has scored a single fucking point. They’re all losers.

3- American Football teaches men to act like men. They hit the guy on the other team and they celebrate. Further more, the guy who just got pancaked by a couple of 300 pound hicks has to get up and act like he didn’t feel a thing.

Soccer teaches men to act like pussies. When they accidently bump into somebody on the other team, they deny it, try to weasle their way out of it. Meanwhile the guy who got hit rolls around on the ground and cries like a little girl so maybe the officials will punish the big meanie who bumped into him with a brightly colored card.

Seriously, I know soccer has contact and people get hurt, but don’t tell me they aren’t faking it most of the time.

Any of you Europeans have anything to say in defense of this girly sport?

Wow dude. I’ve never really been into “soccer vs. football,” but that post was amazing. great points. I agree, football pwns soccer.

The only time I really enjoyed a soccer game was during the last world cup…started out at the local Irish pub, spent the lunch hour watching hundreds of naked Boulder bicyclists ride through town, finished with…I’m not sure.

Fuck yes. Thank you.

Hmm. As a long-time T-Nation lurker, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to actually open my mouth and say something.

Now, first of all, I grew up in Russia, so I was raised in a soccer-heavy culture. All the kids pretty much lived and breathed soccer. And I’ll be the first to admit that soccer - or at least what they call soccer on TV - sucks some serious balls.

The game is a hell of a lot of fun to play on a smaller field, without all the lame rules, cards, and rolling on the ground, holding your shin with a constipated look on your face in hopes of being awarded a penalty kick. Not exactly sure when or why that happened.

I’m a big proponent of soccer, but I cannot for the life of me sit through a single match. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s just boring as hell.

Soccer, the way we played it, was awesome. There was only one word for it - intense. It was all about the mastery of the ball, the passes, and oh yes, the injuries. Scrapes, cuts, bruises, dislocations, sprains, fractures. Broken noses and blackouts from taking a wicked pass to the face.

My right tibia has many little ridges on it from kicking against another person’s leg. Grass stains on our knees were pretty much permanent all throughout the summer. It hurt like hell. We loved it. Played it in the snow, in the rain, and just anywhere there was more-or-less even ground.

With that being said, I think calling soccer a “pussy sport” is unfair. It’s like calling touch football a pussy sport. No shit! The professional players are trying to make money - and if that means pretending that every little thing is an “injury”, they’re gonna do it, despite the fact that it’s lame, and kinda gay, and insulting to what soccer really is, or at least should be.

[quote]Kinoz wrote:
Hmm. As a long-time T-Nation lurker, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to actually open my mouth and say something.

Now, first of all, I grew up in Russia, so I was raised in a soccer-heavy culture. All the kids pretty much lived and breathed soccer. And I’ll be the first to admit that soccer - or at least what they call soccer on TV - sucks some serious balls.

The game is a hell of a lot of fun to play on a smaller field, without all the lame rules, cards, and rolling on the ground, holding your shin with a constipated look on your face in hopes of being awarded a penalty kick. Not exactly sure when or why that happened.

I’m a big proponent of soccer, but I cannot for the life of me sit through a single match. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s just boring as hell.

Soccer, the way we played it, was awesome. There was only one word for it - intense. It was all about the mastery of the ball, the passes, and oh yes, the injuries. Scrapes, cuts, bruises, dislocations, sprains, fractures. Broken noses and blackouts from taking a wicked pass to the face.

My right tibia has many little ridges on it from kicking against another person’s leg. Grass stains on our knees were pretty much permanent all throughout the summer. It hurt like hell. We loved it. Played it in the snow, in the rain, and just anywhere there was more-or-less even ground.

With that being said, I think calling soccer a “pussy sport” is unfair. It’s like calling touch football a pussy sport. No shit!

The professional players are trying to make money - and if that means pretending that every little thing is an “injury”, they’re gonna do it, despite the fact that it’s lame, and kinda gay, and insulting to what soccer really is, or at least should be.[/quote]

That was an excellent first post. However I did not call soccer players pussies. A lot of tough men play soccer; Zidane, for example definitely deserves the title of badass.

http://www.badassoftheweek.com/zidane.html

But it does reward pussy-dom with the fake injuries. Like you I used to have a lot of fun kicking a soccer ball around with friends and family. I suppose soccer is a lot like golf, in that it is fun to play, but watching it is like watching paint dry.

[quote]Uncle Gabby wrote:
I was so bored at work tonight I tried watching a soccer game. Once again, I give up. Yes, I am an American, and yes, maybe I’m prejudiced because we have so many awesome sports to choose from. But I’ve tried watching many a world cup, and aside from one famous head butt, I’ve been bored out of my skull every single time.

Here are three reasons why soccer sucks balls, and American Football rocks:

1- In American Football, you know exactly when something is going to happen. The game has 60 minutes of playing time, and a play happens every 40 seconds. Either the offense will gain yardage, or the defense will come up with a big stop, but big men are going to hit each other, and shit is going to be decided.

Soccer is 90 minutes long, but nothing ever happens. The ball meanders up the field, then back, someone takes a half-assed shot at the goal that misses by a mile. The whole time everyone is going out of their way to avoid contact with another player, lest they get a card.

You can also go take a piss when you’re watching American Football, because they take time outs for pissing, beer runs, whatever. They look out for the needs of Joe-Six pack. You go take a piss in Soccer and you come back you to find out you missed the only score in the whole fucking game.

2- Progress is measured in American Football. Each team runs for so many yards, passes for so many yards, the defense got so many sacks, interceptions, fumbles. You can come into the second half of an American Football game and see the stats and know exactly what each team has done, and why they are winning or losing.

In Soccer there is no progress to measure. It’s 80 minutes into this long, pointless contest and nobody has scored a single fucking point. They’re all losers.

3- American Football teaches men to act like men. They hit the guy on the other team and they celebrate. Further more, the guy who just got pancaked by a couple of 300 pound hicks has to get up and act like he didn’t feel a thing.

Soccer teaches men to act like pussies. When they accidently bump into somebody on the other team, they deny it, try to weasle their way out of it. Meanwhile the guy who got hit rolls around on the ground and cries like a little girl so maybe the officials will punish the big meanie who bumped into him with a brightly colored card.

Seriously, I know soccer has contact and people get hurt, but don’t tell me they aren’t faking it most of the time.

Any of you Europeans have anything to say in defense of this girly sport?[/quote]
Soccer is the only true ‘football’ because it’s played with feet. The skill involved with having to juggle the ball with one’s feet is from a different world. You can’t just throw your weight around and brute your way through the opponent. Also you have to run like ten kilometers in a game,which requires great cardio ability.

There’s faking injuries but there’s also pretty bad real injuries. It’s just another part of the smarts game; taking advantage of any potentially forbidden contact that comes your way. If it could be used in gridiron, then they might do it too.

I’m not a big soccer fan but I pay it respect. Mocking soccer coming from any other team sport is always a case of a kitten roaring at a tiger. It’s just the way it is.

Gabby,

Do you like baseball? Because I find it just as mind numbing as you find soccer.

Serious question.

Real men don’t play ballgames for a living.

(expecting heavy comment on this statement)

Real men don’t have to denigrate someone else’s sport to feel better about their own. I don’t enjoy watching golf or auto racing, but I’m not going to trash those sports just because they’re not for me.

If you don’t like, don’t watch.

And a lot of people enjoy both soccer and American football. It’s not an either/or.

you’ve got a point. but american football is pretty dull too.

[quote]Xeneize wrote:
And a lot of people enjoy both soccer and American football. It’s not an either/or.[/quote]

Precisely.

Being English it’s our national sport (although somehow we’re not very good at it) and I’m surrounded by it. personally I agree with Gabby as far as it being boring and players acting like pussies. However I’ve got to admit that a good game is a hell of a thing to watch, the skill involved in team coordination and maneuvering the ball is extreme.

also I don’t think you can compare it to american football as the two are completely different sports, american football mainly comes down to tactics and brawn whereas football is all speed and skill.

Another point you made is that in 90 minutes it hardly stops most people I talk to think that’s so much better than american football where there is only 40 seconds of play at a time. You have a chance to get into the game and let tension build rather than stop start stop start constantly.

I’ll say that personnally I don’t enjoy watching football most of the time but all in all it’s the biggest and most popular sport in the world so it deserves defending.

And finally, IT’S NOT CALLED SOCCER! it’s football throughout the whole game your FOOT is always touching the BALL whereas in american football your foot touches the ball once in the whole game. american football should be known as handball, that would make more sense. over 5 billion people call it football you guys should to.

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Hmmm - Ok I’ll have a bash at this.

First off, I’m 100% with Kinoz on this, watching a big game played at national or international level bores me (unless watched in the pub with lots of beer). Playing it at amateur level is way tougher and the injuries to be had are very real.

I still much prefer rugby though.

So anyway, onto the main meat of my post.

Why are football and American football compared so much? The games are totally different. If you are going to compare American football to anything then at least make it rugby so there are a few more similarities.

Ok so football and American football have huge followings and staunch advocates on either side so maybe this is why the comparison is made. Rugby fans tend to just sit back and enjoy the carnage of the game instead of feeling like we need to compare it to anything.

I’ll pick up on your points now UG - and I must admit to being a little disappointed with your arguments as you normally put forward a better thought out post. This one seems to be straight down the line of personal preference which is fine, just not what I expected.

1 - So you prefer a sport where you know what’s going to happen? Sounds like watching many of the big blockbuster films to me, guns and explosions will happen, it’s fairly easy to figure out when, not many twists or turns etc. It’s handed to you on a plate.

2 - Progress is measured but in different ways. Tackles, possession, goals - hang on, isn’t that the same? So you need stats to see who’s winning and why? Seems a little over complicated to me.

3 - So does rugby. Football is a different game remember? Does any sport have to ‘teach men to be men’ before it becomes enjoyable? I enjoy track and field events where there is relatively little risk (unless you are on the receiving end of a javelin), does that detract from the enjoyment? Certainly not for me.

I’m not defending football, I do agree that injuries in high level games are faked many times, I do agree at that level it’s more of a ‘girly sport’. I just don’t find the comparison you make to American football particularly compelling.

So how about Rugby versus American Football?

In Australia we call American Football ‘Gridiron’.

In rugby, they don’t wear all the protective padding and the rules are somewhat different, although one of the goals is similar - to make a ‘touchdown’, which is referred to as a ‘try’.

Rugby seems less tactical than American Football and the players are NOT allowed to pass the ball forwards to a teammate ahead of you, it must be passed backwards to a teammate running alongside you.

There are many other differences, but these two sports are more comparable than American Football to soccer.

Gridiron is the most boring sport in the world. I can’t imagine playing it either.

Run 5 meters, bump some bloke, stop. Repeat. The only bloke with a decent job is the quarter back. They wear tampons over half their body. Grow up you girls.

Soccer can be boring but gets exciting through the tension when there is a big prize on the line.

Aussie Rules footy kicks all of their arses.

Rugby is OK too.

I like watching and playing soccer. Coach 3 teams (one for each son). Best part of coaching is when we scrimmage and it’s uneven teams so Old Coach Say has to play.

I like watching soccer, but could never stand when they fake the injuries. Now I’m thinking about what someone else said insofar as if American Football players could benefit from it, they’d do it too.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen punters take a dive when someone comes close to them in order to get a ‘roughing the kicker’ call…also quarterbacks aren’t above doing a little acting when they’re hit a little late…

I think the fact that Rugby and American Football are go forward games i.e you only have one way to go forward makes it more exciting as they are played at break neck speed
But i prefer rugby for lack of breaks and the continuity of the game

Where as football is 3 dimensional so players can run backwards forwards side to side thus making it less exciting at points
And the fact that they go down like a sack of potatoes if they are hit slightly
See
this par example

Rugby fans appear to respect each other a great deal and always manage to have a beer after

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Although I’m not a fan of any of the three games, I have to say that Rugby ownes American football hands down for many things like agression, contact, watchability, etc.
[/quote]

I love rugby, played for 18 years and carry the reminders of the game every day. American football is much harder hitting and more physically aggressive than rugby.

Rugby favors the thinking, well rounded athlete more than the other sports discussed but for sheer physicality American football is head and shoulders above.